What is Diversity in Beauty?

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some of the lovely ladies I’ve had the pleasure of doing makeup on over the years… #FSB

So I’ve been ticked off the last couple of weeks…

…But let me back up the truck first… I have been a career media makeup artist for over 15 years. I keep saying “over 15 years” because I really do not know how long its been, but quite frankly by now I’ve gotta be hovering at the 20 year mark. One notable element of my career is that while I am Black, and proudly so for sure, but I’ve never been sidelined into any particular style and/or type of work because of it. The range of work I’ve done has been diverse which is in keeping with my own outlook as a human being. I grew up in “multi-culti” Los Angeles. I grew up in a diverse neighborhood, I went to diverse schools (my brother and I were early enrollees into the Magnet program when it first first started in the Los Angeles school district), my friends and social life are diverse, and quite frankly my own family is diverse. Diversity is all I’ve known my whole life.

Cut to 2017 and the entire world seems to have lost its damn mind. Seriously. What on Earth is happening?!

I’ve mentioned a couple of times now how I have been finding it difficult to just blithely write about makeup with everything that’s happening in the world. Then I came to the point where I was fine with having makeup be a fun diversion. I now acknowledge that my artistry – what I create, how I create it, and what I use to create it – are in fact a PART of the world and that I cannot insulate it from the world or who I am as a person.

What set me off?

All three times I’m minding my business and looking at Instagram on which I – obviously – follow a lot of makeup accounts.

1) YSL –

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@YSLBeauty’s All Hours Foundation taken from their Instagram post on 8/3/17. I noticed they’ve changed the caption on the post.

YSL Beauty posted an advert for their new line of foundations, All Hours Foundation. The advert boldly proclaimed “22 shades for everyone!!!”. Sounds great! But I look at the picture and it’s literally 19 shades of beige and 3 brown colors. Well, 2 browns and one brown-ish color. And of course the deepest brown is not deep enough for someone of my (Naomi Campbell-ish) skin tone.

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If I were doing his grooming for a photoshoot, Nick *might* be able to wear that deepest shade…

Needless to say, the reception on Instagram was not what YSL Beauty hoped it would be as people chimed in – including at least one very well known high end celebrity makeup artist – to let them know that they did not find this acceptable. On the surface it would seem that the complaints were mostly by Black women and its true that we were probably one of the most forgotten groups in this foundation collection. But really – and I preface this by saying that I still need to go see these colors in person – but if these colors are really as beige/pinky beige as they appear to be in this photo, then I can say as an artist there are few people on which these would work. Going off this photo there aren’t good colors for a lot of Latinx, a lot of Pacific Islanders, East Asian, South Asian, hell even a lot of Caucasian folks. Unless you are fair and beige the vast majority of the colors would not work. And the brown colors they do have appear (again, I need to see them in person) to have a tawn-y undertone which most Brown people do not have. ??? I don’t get it. This is not a small company with limited resources.

2) Antonym Cosmetics

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@Antonymcosmetics was highly receptive to the feedback they were given and actually posted this swatch photo in response to requests from customers.

Antonym is a small company with limited resources, so their situation was more understandable. They just introduced a liquid foundation and what they have looks promising enough (again, I need to see it in person). Their problem was that they only introduced 6 colors, so that right there just isn’t enough. When asked about it, they said they were developing more colors to be released “in the future”. YSL actually said the same thing. “In the future” seems to come up a lot in response to questions of diversity of color range. What’s frustrating about Antonym specifically is that they are a vegan and organic brand. Therefore by not developing a color range to suit people of color, we are basically being kept out of this market niche. To be clear, Antonym is hardly alone. The vegan/organic cosmetics brands have by and large ignored people of color (OCC of course being an exception, but OCC was started by a makeup artist). Presumably these brands feel that we aren’t their customer but this is a “Which Came First, the Chicken or the Egg” situation. IF the necessary colors were available, maybe more POC would be customers.

To their credit, when approached about it online Antonym was very receptive and appreciative for the feedback they were being given. Whereas YSL Beauty seemed to be giving fairly route answers, Antonym seemed to really be listening. I would not be surprised at all if Antonym releases their new color options before YSL does. YSL said they’d release deeper shades in a year or so. Why a year from now? Who knows. #Future.

As far as Antonym goes, I have very much liked what I’ve tried from them thus far and I respect the way they handled their situation. Therefore I feel good about continuing to support their brand.

On the flipside, there’s Beautylish.

3) BeautyLish –

… where to even start. Beautylish is off the list for me until further notice, period. It’s one thing to not come up with a broad color range that reflects the population. That’s a correctable mistake. It’s QUITE another to actively support and promote someone with known bigoted, hateful views. The issue? Jeffree Starr… I know he’s super popular in the Instagram/YouTube makeup set. I will be real that I’d not heard of him until one of my students told me about him a year or so ago, so to be honest I didn’t have any feelings about him one way or another. Then however I found out that he is an overt hateful bigot. In case you aren’t aware… In fact I won’t embed the video, but here’s a link if you want to go see. Those statements are not mistakes or accidents, nor are they confusing in their intent.

Beautylish apparently has some type of relationship with Mr. Starr and thusly they have willfully buried their heads in the sand on the issue. His image featured prominently in their booth at IMATS LA 2017 as they were selling his products exclusively, and when I went onto Instagram the other day, they’d posted an image of him regarding his new palette that he apparently has going with Jouer. Needless to say Jouer is now off the list as well which sucks because they make one of my holy grail lipglosses. I won’t defile my blog by posting the Instagram photo here, but if you want to see it you can go to Beautylish’s Instagram (@Beautylish). As I was reading through the post, Nils – one of the owners of Beautylish – stated “what a difficult positon Beautylish is in”, which they aren’t, they chose to work with Mr. Starr, and Nils asked that people not go off in the comments but email him directly instead. I sent him an email which – to date – they have yet to reply. I shared my email on my Facebook page and several of my friends in turn shared my post and emailed them. Beautylish DID, respond to a friend of mine we speculate because they identified her as a customer who recently spent a lot with them. I, too, am actually a Beautylish customer and I have actually spent a lot with them HOWEVER I generally do so at the trade shows. My friend and fellow makeup artist is also a person of color and we were both irate with Beautylish’s response. Not only did they double down on “what a difficult position they’re in” (again, they aren’t…they’re making a CHOICE), but they said – and this is a quote from the email – “I hope you can understand our position and can separate the joy of shopping at Beautylish from your concerns with Jeffree…”

Um no. No I can’t. Nor can I express in words how tragic a reply that is. First of all, at no time that I’ve seen have they elaborated on what this so-called difficulty is. Secondly that email is basically saying “we are going to continue to monetarily support and benefit from this known racist, but we hope you’ll keep giving us money anyway”.

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image courtesy of potential past via Flickr

I’m sure they’ll say “they didn’t mean it that way” but what a terrible statement to make with regards to an entire population of your potential customers.

Here’s the thing: diversty is not a product or a technique or what-have-you; it’s a mindset. If people wanted to be diverse they’d be diverse. If it were as much of a priority to have a full range of colors, brands would do so. If racial bigotry/homophobia/fat phobia/age phobia/whatever were really unacceptable to people, they would stop making excuses for it. It is frustrating to see how slow the beauty industry is to real change. By continuing with these kinds of – and I use this term in generosity – faux pas, companies are saying Very Clearly and Out Loud to their minority customers of all kinds that you and your business do not matter to us. They may not want to say that, they may not intend to say that, but that’s what they’re saying.

So how do we move forward?

Well, here’s The Other Thing: With regards specifically to the needs of people of color, brands aren’t going to be able to run and hide for much longer anyway. To site but one resource of many, the Pew Research Center released a paper last year on the changing demographic of America. America no longer looks the same and that’s only going to increase, not decrease. When I was a kid people often postulated about an American future wherein everyone is of mixed ethnicity. Well guess what…the future is here.

For my part, I want to be – and I want Makeup to Go to be – a part of the solution. I feel that we at Makeup to Go are uniquely poised to make a contribution in the online beauty-sphere. Myself along with the other artists who contribute to the blog are all media makeup artists who’ve looked at beauty from all sides (now). And many of us are people of color ourselves. We understand the situation both as professionals and as cosmetics users. Part of the reason the blog has been on radio silence is because I am preparing to launch a significant change in how Makeup to Go is going to operate going forward. More details to come, but my vision has become more clear than it’s ever been for where I want Makeup to Go…to go. lol. My hope is to empower consumers, artists and ultimately brands through knowledge and to help create a community in which diversity in beauty is celebrated. And to have fun and celebrate each other in the process.

I hope you’ll join me.

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#MakeupMonday – Makeup Roundup 2012/2013

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OK. Back to the fun stuff; talking about product!

For our makeup roundup 2012/2013, we are taking a slightly different approach. We here at Makeup to Go, like most other makeup artists, meet new makeup products all the time. Many products become acquaintances, few become friends, and even fewer still be come Lovers (Kit Must Haves). For Makeup to Go’s inaugural “Best of” list, we’re talking only about the products that really stuck as “Lovers”. Therefore, some products may not be “according to Hoyle” brand new, but instead they are the products that cemented themselves into our kits in 2012. As a bonus, we are projecting which products we’d like to get to know better for 2013.

Delia’s Picks

Best of 2012

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Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics LipTar in Anime
A powerful punch of pink (nice alliteration, huh?) that is also pretty universally flattering. I love this one, too.

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L’Oreal Voluminous Smoldering Liner in Black
Big, fat, juicy and smooth eyeliner that is truly BLACK. Reminiscent of Benefit Cosmetic’s “BadGal” eyeliner.

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LORAC Pro Palette
Delia and I decided that this palette of neutral colors in both matte and shimmer formulations is not only the business, it is the Entire Corporation.

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Inglot Cream Blushes 87 & 82
Inglot has been formulating for other brands for years so when they started selling their own cosmetics line buzz grew immediately, and thus far all products tried have lived up to the hype.

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Bdellium Tools Contour brush
Rapidly growing in popularity amongst professional artists, Bdellium Tools have become synonymous with affordable excellence.

Looking Forward in 2013

Sam Fine Supreme Color Collection for Fashion Fair Cosmetics
See description below in “Tania’s Picks”

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Tom Ford Beauty Eye Color Quads
It is easy to become fixated on the hefty price tag, but so far everything in the Tom Ford collection of cosmetics delivers.

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Prtty Peaushun Skin Tight Body Lotion
I love collaborating on my blog with other artists because I, too, get to learn about new things. I’ve never heard of this product before, but I am highly intrigued to try it now.

Tania’s Picks

Best of 2012

LORAC Pro Palette
See description above in “Delia’s Picks”. LOVE!

EDIT: Did I manage to leave off my #1 product discovery of 2012? Yep! Sure Did!

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Dedra (Formerly Simple Beaute by Dedra)
Clearly I was really sleepy when I was writing this article. I cannot believe I left this off! But anyway, yes, as I have previously mentioned (waxed rhapsodic over), the foundations are absolutely fantastic for both photographic use and street wear. Dedra was founded by celebrity makeup artist Dedra Whitt, and the newly renamed line also has 6 new products coming out very soon. Look for a full feature + interview on “Dedra” shortly.(photo is of the original foundation stick)

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Tarte Cosmetics Amazonian Clay Waterproof Cream Eyeshadow
For years pepole have been rightfully afraid of cream eyeshadow because of their tendency to fade and slip. Modern formulations of cream shadows have corrected these issues. Not only do these Tarte Amazonian Clay cream eyeshadows not cause makeup to fade away faster, I often use them as a base to make eyeshadow last longer and eliminate creasing. AND unlike a lot of shadow primers, these eyeshadows are moisturizing instead of drying on delicate eyelids.

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Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter
I always love products like these, I have previously professed my love for the Korres Lip Butters. Like the Korres butters, I use them for natural beauty shoots, lifestyle shoots, kids grooming shoots AND on myself. These feel fantastic and give a nice pop of color. Revlon’s ColorBurst Lip Butters are yet another item in Revlon’s long line of excellent lip color products.

makeup to go blog makeup los angeles makeup san francisco ROUGE PUR COUTURE Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain makeup roundup 2012 2013
Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres Glossy Stain
Like most women, I experience a disconnect between the hope and the reality of most lip stains. The hope is that the lipcolor will be comfortable and long-lasting. The reality is either or; either it is creamy enough to feel good at which point it does not last long, or it is long lasting but it is drying and feels weird. I discovered the YSL lipstains last year and haven’t looked back. The Rouge Pur Couture Vernis À Lèvres fulfills in both hope and reality with a nice glossy finish to boot!

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NARS Larger Than Life Longwear Eyeliner
I do not remember when exactly these came out (I think maybe late 2011) but they became a kit staple in 2012. Like lip-stains, long wear eyeliners often present a dilemma. You want eyeliner that lasts, but you need eyeliner to be smooth and glide on easily and smudge when desired. Nars’ Larger Than Life Longwear Eyeliner is smooth and creamy, easily blend-able and stays put once set. And it comes in fantastic colors.

Looking Forward in 2013

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Sam Fine Supreme Color Collection for Fashion Fair Cosmetics
Sam Fine has been working with Fashion Fair on updating the line for a few years now. His latest collection features a brilliant array of colors geared towards the needs of African American – and other deeper complexioned – women. Not familiar with Fashion Fair? I’ll be featuring a full review of this collection, and giving a history on the line soon!

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Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colours
I’m a little late to the game on these, but they are fab. The formulation is luxurious, the texture is creamy and smooth and the colors are rich and radient. And for the “home user” the roll up stick makes application a breeze. The late Nixie Cosmetics had a product similar to this back in the day. This is the ultimate upgrade.

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NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer
I was in the NARS store in LA yesterday and these were on display although not yet available for sale. They aren’t even on the Nars site yet, hence no link. But these are a liqui-cream concealer in a tube and they were amazing when I played with them. You can read more about them on the Temptalia blog, and I’m sure I’ll talk about them more when I get my hands on them.

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Bobbi Brown Skin Perfecting Retouching Powder
Makeup artists have long known the power of colored powders. Not colors to “match your skintone” which, depending on your skintone, can often be a very bad idea – but colors to enhance, correct and finish your makeup applications. Theatrical brands (Ben Nye, Mehron, Kryolan, etc) have long had these powders available, but now Bobbi Brown is bringing them to the mass market. It will likely take a moment to get used to using these powders, but the payoff is worth it.

and not a product but…

Nars opened a boutique on Melrose in October 2012 and TopShop opened in the Grove in February 2013. YES YES YES!!!!

Now you tell us: What new products or brands are you looking most forward to so far in 2013?

#MakeupMonday – Mature Skin Makeup

40 something project by photographer richard radstone

© R. Radstone
Makeup / Hair – Tania D. Russell

As a makeup artist I have worked on nearly every type of face there is, including mature talent from middle age to quite elderly. If you have only ever worked on 19 year old models with perfect skin, working on a client needing mature skin makeup can seem quite daunting but it need not be. Working on mature clientele – or working on yourself if your skin is starting to show signs of “maturity” – is just a matter of knowing how products work on the skin and what products to use when.

Generally speaking when you are talking about mature skin the main issues are a loss of elasticity and moisture. This is how we develop lines, under-eye circles, and the overall appearance of sagging skin. Another concern may also be uneven skintone and texture. Afterall, this is skin that has been around a while and has seen a few things, hence it needs extra care. For successful mature skin makeup there are two equally important components; selection of proper cosmetic products – which we will get to in a minute – and prepping the skin thoroughly with proper skincare.


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1 ) Perricone, MD – Advanced Face Firming Activator
I was introduced to this product by a client who would not let me do her makeup without using it and I have had it in my kit ever since. What I like about this serum versus other firming products I have tried is how fast-acting it is while still being gentle. If you purchase this for yourself most users see an overall improvement in the texture and tone of their skin continued use. Yes, it is pricey, but it has proven to me to be a worthwhile investment.

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2 ) Kinerase – Intensive Eye Cream and Under Eye Rescue
I was first introduced to the Kinerase line in 2005 or so and their eye creams quickly became my favorites for mature and/or extra dry skin. I first tried the Intensive Eye Cream which is a heavy moisturizing cream fantastic for night-time use when it can really help the skin repair itself. I was then introduced to the Under Eye Rescue cream and I found it to be great for immediate use under makeup. It is not as emollient as the Intensive Eye Cream so it does not cause makeup to slip and it firms to keep lines and puffiness at bay. Again, pricey but a worthwhile investment.

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3 ) La Prarie – Anti Aging Day Cream SPF 30
It is really important for mature skin to wear sunscreen to help lesson the appearance of age spots and assorted uneven skin issues. This luxurious cream also contains ingredients to boost collagen production. It is the loss of collagen that causes skin to age, hence maintaining collagen levels helps all of the issues of dryness, loss of elasticity and dullness associated with mature skin.

OK, ok. I know I just recommended 3 skin care products the least expensive of which was $80. I am a believer in good skincare. There are, however, less expensive alternatives that also work well.

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4 ) Olay – Total Effects Daily Moisturizer
As a line Olay has become quite well known for their anti-aging skincare. This product in particular stays very popular and highly rated and for good reason. This “all in one” product hydrates, exfoliates, refines pores, and contains antioxidants to nourish the skin.

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5 ) ROC Skin Care
The entire ROC line is an anti-aging line. Started by a french pharmacist in the 1950’s, ROC has become famous for their use of Retinol in their products. Of the extensive product line, I have used the Multi Correxion® 4-Zone Daily Moisturizer SPF 30, the Multi Correxion® Lift Anti-Gravity Eye Cream, and the Multi Correxion® Skin Renewing Serum with good results.


With mature skin makeup it is important to remember that product has both weight and texture. Therefore less is more. Likewise too much powder and in particular too much shimmer and/or glitter can settle into lines and accentuate things you or your client likely do not want to accentuate.

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1 ) Face Atelier –Ultra Foundation
In my opinion, silicone-based foundations do wonderful things on mature skin. Since silicone cannot settle or be absorbed into skin, it lays on top minimizing pores and fine lines. My favorite of the silicone foundations is the Ultra Foundation. The color selection is superb (there are shades for everyone from the fairest to the deepest complexions), the foundation is light in texture but fully pigmented so you need very little for complete coverage, and then it sets without the need for powder and once it sets it lasts pretty much all day. This is a fabulous product. Pro Tip: Ultra Foundation Pro is the same foundation in a bottle better suited for a makeup artists’ kit. Ultra Foundation photographs beautifully, and it is the foundation of choice for many top makeup artists. I used it in the image above.

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2 ) Illuminare – All Day Eye Color
On mature skin I like to use cream products as much as possible. I find it does not settle as much into any creases, and it adds a more luminous glow to the skin. These Illuminare eyeshadows are weightless, go on smoothly and do not crease. They come in an array of great neutrals in a semi-matte finish to create a variety of daytime and nighttime looks. I also like to use the darker colors as eyeliners.

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3 ) Youngblood Cosmetics – Luminous Creme Blush
Cream blushes are the way to go on mature skin, in my opinion. You can layer a powder blush over your cream if you desire but, again, you want to add luminosity to the skin for a more youthful appearance. Also the cheeks tend to be an area where you can add a bit of sheen/shimmer without it being unintentionally aging. These Youngblood cream blushes are oil-free, lightweight, and long-lasting in a sheer, buildable color formulation. Pro Tip: Pink Cashmere is a go-to color in my kit.

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4 ) Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Sonia Kashuk Velvety Matte Lip Crayon
Lips can be a bit tricky because if there are any lines around the lips, color can seep into those lines. I find the best way to avoid this is to give lipcolor an anchor to hold onto. Lip crayons can be worn on their own as a nice, matte lipcolor that will not move or they make a great base for lip glosses and lipsticks. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are extraordinary. They feel like silk, they last forever, the colors are glorious, I could go on. Pictured is Dolce Vita which is one of my favorite colors to use as a base for other lip colors. IF however, $24 a pencil is not quite doing it for you Sonia Kashuk’s Velvety Matte Lip Crayons are a very good knockoff of homage to the Nars pencils. The Sonia Kashuk pencils do not have quite the array of colors nor do they feel as soft on the lips but they are quite comfortable to wear and the colors they do have are quite nice. I particularly like Nudey Nude when I am using this as a base for another color.

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5 ) YSL Beauté – Touche Éclat
I had to put this wonder product in its own category. Not quite a concealer, not quite an illuminator, Touche Éclat is all of that and more. Used in the under-eye area it is a sweep of light that diffuses dark circles and fine lines for a bright, “wide awake” appearance. My makeup life changed when I was introduced to this miracle product. Pro Tip: I rarely wear makeup myself (I know, right?) but I do use this on myself when I go out at night and it brightens my entire appearance.
Another Pro Tip: it is also great for any smile lines/creasing around the mouth.

#MakeupMonday – Red, White and Blue Makeup

For many of us makeup mavens…

Summer is the time when we naturally lighten up on our makeup. The easy-breezy flow of the season combined with heat and/or humidity says it’s time to put away heavy makeup and step into the light.

Summer is also, in my opinion, the perfect time to step outside of your comfort zone and play with some color. Pops of color against an otherwise bare face look fresh, flirty and young. Whether you’re at a backyard barbecue, hitting the beach, or workin’ it late night at the club, summer is the time to be be a bit daring and have a bit of fun while enjoying the sun’s bounty. In America we are about to celebrate the 4th of July holiday. Therefore, in keeping with a patriotic theme, I’m going to be looking specifically at creative ways to use red, white, and blue makeup. Please Note: I am not necessarily advocating wearing all three at once (although it can be done 😉 ).

When I work with private clients, part of the battle is often getting them to trust in red lipstick. Now is SO the time to lose your fears about wearing red lipcolors. Everyone knows the pale skin/red lip combo but red lips with tanned skin is gorgeous (not to mention red looks FAB on us brown-toned girls). If you are gun-shy fear not! There are formulations at every point of the spectrum nowadays from very bold to sheer and subtle.

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Mild – If you just want to stick a toe in the world of red lipcolor, sheer tints are a fab way to go. Tarte Cosmetic’s LipSurgence™ lip tints come in 3 formulations (original, matte, and luster), feel great on the lips and impart a fabulous tint of color. All 3 are fairly subtle but for the super shy, LipSergence™ Luster in “Fever” is an easy way to slide into red. Likewise, Revlon’s ColorBurst™ Lip Butters are silky smooth and hydrating with a sheer wash of color. ColorBurst offers a few different red-ish shades, but my personal favorite is the straight ahead “Candy Apple” which is a true red, flattering for almost all skin tones.

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Wild – If you’re ready to jump into the deep end of the pool, opaque red is always a powerful statement. Strong, shiny red lip GLOSS packs a powerful punch. Armour Beauty makes serious lip gloss which I have written about before. Part of the Opaque collection, Barracuda, is full on ka-pow of classic red. On a bare summer-bronzed face this gloss and some mascara are all you need to be hot hot hot! I was recently reminded how much I really like TopShop lipcolors. TopShop lipstick in “Rio Rio” is a bright true red with a semi-matte finish. The matte makes it current and modern but the semi keeps it from being drying and uncomfortable to wear. TopShop also has “Infrared” which is also a semi-matte but it’s a more orange red for those complexions where orange-reds are more flattering.

We here at Makeup to Go! love red lipcolor and we have written about it frequently. For more options check out Delia’s story on red lipsticks or my wayback article on the Lipstick Queen brand.


When you’re talking about lightening up for the summer, often the discussion is about weight and texture of formulations (example, switching to Tinted Moisturizers vs. full-on Foundations) but we makeup artists often mean lightening up in colors as well. Let the dark colors go for a minute and experiment with more highlighting, letting your summer-glow skin be the star of the show. (or if you do go for a deep sultry eye, a bit of white adds “pop”)

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Mild – Most of my favorite white shadows are cream shadows. They are supremely easy to wear, last long, and bring attention to the eye through shimmer and highlight. Bobbi Brown Cosmetics Long Wear Cream eye shadow has several light shimmery shades that I love including “Bone (01)” and “Glacier (11)”. Another way to go with White is loose pigments and my two favorite loose pigments are Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics and La Femme Cosmetics. OCC Makeup you are probably already familiar with. La Femme has actually been around much longer (like, since forever) and has been a secret staple amongst artists. A lot of their products are just OK but their Sparkle Dust loose pigments can take the Pepsi Challenge™ with MAC pigments any day of the week. Yeah, I said it. For $4-$6 you can have shimmery, bold colors in a palette from demure to daring. I particularly like La Femme’s white pigment because it’s just plain white with no under-color. As with any loose pigment product both OCC and La Femme can go on sheer or be ramped up to full opacity. La Femme does not sell directly to consumers but they are available at Nigel’s and numerous beauty supply stores throughout the country, or online at Makeup Mania. (Camera Ready Cosmetics sells La Femme but does not appear to carry the Sparkle Dust loose pigments)

Wild – Layer. Apply your cream shadow first as a base and then press loose pigment into it as a second layer and watch the fireworks go off. This is a fantastic alternate nighttime look to a dark eye. Your eyes will sparkle and glint under the light!


Ah blue… blue blue blue. Blue eye shadow gets a bad rap and blue lipstick is unwearable for all except the most makeup daring. In real life, what’s a real woman to do with blue? In my opinion, a lot. Now I will say I do not care for Blue lips outside of fashion editorial or fashion runway. I see younger women wearing it in real life and I am not a fan but hey, do whatchalike. I do not understand, however, the bad rap blue eye color gets. Done poorly, yes okay it is scary. But done correctly it is fresh and contemporary and there is a shade of blue that works for nearly everyone.

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Mild – Of course the easiest way to wear a pop of blue is via eyeliner. To me the best colored eyeliners in terms of pigmentation, selection of colors, wear, etc. are Urban Decay’s 24-7 Glide On eyeliners. The blues – “Deviant”, “Electric” and “Flipside” – are all staples in my kit. Like everyone, I am concerned as to how Urban Decay starting to sell in China will affect their no animal testing policy (animal testing is requisite in China… although they have taken it down off the Urban Decay site, you can read Urban Decay’s original statement on the matter here). It appears the matter is still up in the air so I’ll be keeping my eye on it. In the meantime I am just buying my UD products NOW before any changes may occur. This is not to single out Urban Decay as several brands have done and continue to do animal testing, and this probably includes some of the other brands I am mentioning in this piece. The issue with Urban Decay is they have always been a vegan friendly line with a strict No Testing policy. (UPDATE: After this article originally posted, Urban Decay decided against selling in China)

Stila Cosmetics Smudge Stick waterproof liners are also quite good and have 3 shimmery shades of blue to choose from.

An even more subtle way to add a bit of blue to the eye is via colored mascara. These were all the rage when I was in High School but have fallen a bit out of favor – no doubt due in part to unfortunate colors like the Yellow mascara we used to wear back in the day. In actuality the subtle pop of color mascara can be quite pretty. YSL Beauty still has a nice selection of colored mascaras – including several blues – in both the original and waterproof formulations of their Volume Effet Faux Cils Shocking mascara.

Wild – Be brave. Face your fears. Embrace the Blue eye shadow. Jumbo Eye shadow pencils make it easier for you to control your application which is key to having this look not go askew on you. Make Up For Ever’s new Aqua Shadow pencils go on smoothly and blend well but then stays put once set. The “Matte Navy Blue #6E” is a deep aqua navy, perfect for a nighttime smokey eye. NYX Cosmetics Jumbo Eye Pencil comes in the bright peacock and electric blues that other brands do, but they also have a pretty Baby Blue (aptly named “Baby Blue”) that adds a soft yet dynamic punch and works on a wide variety of skin tones. While the staying power is not quite that of Make Up For Ever or Urban Decay (who also has great eye shadow pencils), NYX’s Jumbo Eye Pencils last pretty well and they are much creamier and hence blend much more easily than NYX’s powder eye shadows.